GEA Tests its Freezer Control System in French Fries Production
GEA has announced it has concluded tests that prove the effectiveness of its Callifreeze system which improves product quality and provides energy savings by automatically controlling and monitoring the condition of frozen products as they exit the freezer.
The Callifreeze tests, which took place in January 2019 at Bergia Frites, a French fry manufacturer from Roermond, the Netherlands, were performed on 7mm x 7mm shoestring, 9mm x 9mm straight-cut and 13mm x 13mm crinkle-cut fries. The results showed that savings can be achieved when freezing French fries by increasing the evaporating temperature and via the continuous monitoring and control of the product’s level of frozenness (LOF) according to quality targets.
The Callifreeze uses Aquantis sensors, so that food processors can ensure accurate product quality control and avoid unnecessary product wastage. The system calibrates freezer parameters through the continuous measurement of product LOF. This allows retention time, air temperature and fan speeds to be controlled so that the required and precise level of freezing can be achieved with minimum energy consumption. To date, Callifreeze is said to be the world’s first in-line system to autonomously monitor and control frozen product quality in this manner.
For example, the ability to increase the evaporation temperature by 30 Celsius for crinkle-cut fries, would result in reduced energy usage of roughly EUR41,000 per year, for a company operating a 10 tones/hour plant, without affecting quality. This translates into an 18-month Return of Investment (ROI) period for the Callifreeze equipment. The level of energy reduction represents an important contribution to the sustainability of a plant and can make a significant contribution to the reducing industry’s overall energy usage if applied globally.
During the same trials, it was demonstrated that product LOF variation followed the same trend as product temperature. With continuous measurement and logging product LOF, and the correlation between LOF and temperature, Callifreeze provides a solution for in-line product quality tracking. This significantly reduces the product waste often associated with batch systems operating via manual control.
GEA will show off the Callifreeze from May 4 to 9, 2019 at IFFA, which will take place in Frankfurt, Germany.